I was recently visiting with a few of my writing friends in Vermont. Most of us went to grad school together, and so we still get together for mini-vacations and write, among other things. Last year, we did the same thing. I drove to Vermont, and I was able to check out the famed Mac and Cheese Festival put on by Harpoon Brewery (where one of my friends worked) as well as the Tunbridge World Fair. This year, I missed the Mac and Cheese Fest, but made it again for the Tunbridge World Fair. And, because one of my cosplaying friends (Cheryl Wild – AKA WyldRyce Cosplay) was in the area, she reminded me about the Vermont Comic Con that was still going on.
Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my cosplay stuff with me – so I couldn’t cosplay. But the couple I was staying with in Vermont, Shane and Chloe – decided they would give it a shot and not only come with me…but also cosplay for the very first time. I was excited for them, and I gave them a couple pointers and suggestions, but they largely just helped one another.
It was wonderful to get to be there to see these two people cosplaying for the first time, and get to see them complain about things I’m very familiar with from attending many conventions (“This place is crowded!” – “I need to adjust my costume!” etc). My good friend Frank also attended, and I was able to see him pick up his first miniatures game from the game room. He and his wife are both Trekkies, and so he bought Star Trek: Attack Wing – which he got at a really good deal. Lots of firsts for these friends of mine – and I also haven’t attended a convention as a “civilian” (not in costume) since 2011. So it was the first time for me at Vermont Comic Con, but also the first time in a while I got to experience a convention with no costume on.
The convention was small, for sure, but it was not lacking in much. The entire first floor of the Sheraton in Burlington where the event was held was dedicated to celebrity guests and comic book writers and artists. Brian O’Halloran from Clerks fame was there, as well as Nicholas Brendon, of Buffy The Vampire Slayer fame. Artist Bob Camp from Ren and Stimpy was in attendance. And the night before I arrived, Jon Favreau (the director) made an unscheduled appearance.
The bottom floor also held plenty of merchandise – anything from action figures, to masks, to comic books. Upstairs held more merchandise and booths for organizations such as the 501st, as well as the gaming room where there were tables set up so that people could try out a game or two.with help from game masters at each table. That was a nice touch. Another cool thing was that the local CW television station was there doing photos of people that could be grabbed from their Facebook page, complete with a green-screen background. Frank, Shane, and I posed for one together with the cast of Supernatural in the background, while Chloe went for one with the cast of the show Arrow.
Since we were in Burlington, and since Frank was from Alabama and had never even been to Burlington – we decided to all take a break from the convention and scope out Church Street Market in Burlington and do a little exploring. We ate at an Indian restaurant on the outskirts of town, and then walked through downtown and even sampled some crepes from The Skinny Pancake. Mine was delicious. It contained copious amounts of Nutella, as well as strawberries and bananas.
We did return to the convention for a while afterward, and though we did not partake in the cosplay contest – it went off pretty well from all accounts. There were many great cosplayers wandering the halls and lobbies of the Sheraton. I didn’t get photos of them all, but I did manage to get some good ones. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know the names of the cosplayers, and I will put the info up on my blog for credit purposes.
In any case – before I end this with some photos of cosplayers – Vermont Comic Con is Vermont’s only comic convention. It’s a nice little convention, and I’m sure there is something there for everyone. Cosplayers have plenty of room for photo ops. Celebrity hounds will be able to speak with the actors/writers/artists in a much more relaxed way than at a bigger convention where lines for guests take hours to wade through. There are plenty of booths selling discount merchandise to peruse through, and on top of that – you’re right in Burlington, Vermont – and there is always something to do there. It was my first time attending the convention, and I am sure I’ll go there again in the future.
Let me know about your own Vermont Comic Convention stories in the comments below!